I came across a link on Facebook the other day entitled “10 Things Men Find Unattractive In Women”, and my first thought was‘well, this can’t be a serious post – how can you generalize 10 personal opinions to ALL men and women? And what about LGBTQ, don’t they exist?’
As you may have guessed already, I opened the link having preemptively taken a critical stance; however, what I read would have enraged me even if I had stumbled upon this list accidentally (say, while Google-ing “ignorant misogynist ideas”). What enraged me even more was the link at the end of this list, to another one made by the same male author, enumerating ten things women find unattractive in men. The ‘male’ list was completely hypocritical compared to the ‘female’ list. I’ve offered a brief (and somewhat satirical) summary of the two lists below, along with the links to each original post.
According to this list, Women need:
1) To be always sober – never drunk.
2) To be quiet/unassuming/unnoticeable – regardless of whether or not they are dealing with their body’s shedding of the lining of the uterus (because guys deal with that sort of pain regularly too! Oh, wait…)
3) To be always positive – especially since according to the author, women tend to be more negative than men. I’m sure the unnamed author is not a male, and certainly must have credible peer reviewed evidence for this claim. Oh, except… never mind.
4) To have the patience of a monk – which is impossible since as the author points out, “[w]e all know women are impatient…”. How dare they remind us of important meeting times – we can stroll in whenever we like! You women just wait, and do it quietly, and be happy about it, while you sip your water.
5) To never act young/spontaneous. Being excited to go out with your friends for a good time is so high school. It’s completely not like when guys get together and drink, and be loud, and argue about things like sports and martial arts and all that other terribly important stuff. C’mon.
6) To never alter your physical appearance, ESPECIALLY your hair! How could you not think that your spontaneity and different-looking locks would make you ugly and unattractive?? Obviously guys need you to never change your appearance because we entirely base your acceptability upon it.
7) To always tell the truth – which is obvious, except that as the author suggests, you women lie way more than men, and about stuff that you are needlessly lying about. It’s so obvious to us men when you’re lying – which is why we always want you to be quiet and patient and always positive. It’s not like we’re constructing a double standard, forcing you to have to lie about having a bad day or anything…
8) To never assume that you know something, ANYTHING – and especially so if you haven’t listened to other people first (presumably a man) to correct your silly ‘woman-thinking’. Just be quiet please, and do your hair the same way.
9) To strive to be unnoticed at all times – How could you think that going to Wal-Mart in a black dress is ok? Clearly you bought that dress solely to attract a man, and no self-respecting man ever goes into Wal-Mart. Save that hot number for when you want to be noticed! Only, don’t be noticed. Err, wait… I won’t even mention the bandwagoning with a winning sports team; guys NEVER do that, right?
10) To never think you can just so what you want to whenever you like, especially if it involves asking us men to do something that you can easily do (like washing dishes, cleaning, doing laundry, shopping, churning butter or birthing children). Can’t you see how busy we are raucously cheering on our winning sports team? Get us a beer, and refill your water. And do it quietly and unassumingly please.
In comparison, this list says that Men need:
1) Hair that is not unkempt, and not greasy or dirty – stylish bed-head is ok though. And go nuts changing it up – a women’s opinion or preference of your appearance is of no consequence remember.
2) Goals that are attainable and realistic. They must not dream big, because failure could land you with a loud and noticeable wife who wants to do things whenever she wants to.
3) To be genuinely nice, so as to not seem creepy to the few acceptable women in the world. Faking niceness is appropriate is some situations, just don’t go overboard.
4) To be humble – your success and the way in which you present yourself will do the speaking for you. See, it’s ok for man to be noticeable! Women are different.
5) To always be truthful, but only to avoid being caught in a web of lies that could land you in hot water with a woman. This has nothing to do with being genuine and nice. In fact, you can lie so long as you’re being nice, and you’re not planning on marrying her.
6) To be funny, and not always serious. Sharing laughter and humour is good for relationships! Just make sure that your woman doesn’t laugh loudly, or get noticed by anyone, or attempts to be funny. That makes sense, right?
7) To be hygienic – shower, brush your teeth, and cut your hair. It’s ok if you change up the hairstyle (unlike women), but be sure that it’s kempt.
8) To never act like an ‘alpha dog’, except if you are standing up for a woman. Don’t worry about the poor, destitute, oppressed, or marginalized; they’re on their own. They can’t even stay positive! And they think they know everything about their situation, without even listening to us.
9) To have good manners, because all women will leave you if you fart in the living room. They are unreasonable and uncompromising. Although, they must always be quiet and unassuming and cooperative with men. Hold on, I’m getting confused here…
10) To have confidence, even if your goals or ambitions are unrealistic. Lacking confidence is the worst thing a woman can learn about you. So don’t worry about attainable goals! Oh but, what about #2…
Now, let’s critically compare these two lists:
Most of the expectations given for ‘the women’ are irrational, unreasonable, and contradictory! They reflect ignorance and flagrant misogyny, patriarchy, and sexism. For example, it is impossible for anyone to be happy all the time; to be quiet, and never demand a presence in any way in any situation; to have endless patience – all of these, even in the context of inconsiderate treatment from a partner. Also, devaluing the knowledge of women, across all subjects, and denying her agency of personal action are oppressive positions that harken back to an archaic and parochial worldview, of which the author ought to be ashamed to promote.
Most of the expectations that are given for ‘the men’ are common to everyone, regardless of gender, class, caste, or almost any other conception of social grouping: humour, cleanliness, mannerly, humble, reasonable, truthful, genuine, and friendly. And even so, there exist subcultures and groups (of all genders) who do not subscribe to these specific, orthodox values! Some may not value ‘proper’ manners; may find the ‘reasons’ of one class/group/culture/society to be incongruent with their own, etc. etc. The overall issue is that the author(s) have compiled two dichotomous lists of expectations, structured by outmoded and ignorant perceptions of gender.
What do you think – do these kinds of ‘Top Ten’ posts even matter? Do they have any significance? And if they do, what do you think about the author’s comments? I’m sharing these posts, but I’m making sure that everyone knows that I’m sharing them because I find them to be disgusting and repugnant. Even short bursts of sexist ignorance like these lists are a slap in the face of the contentious history of genders and sexes.